Undaunted by Crackdown, Occupy Wall Street and New York
Activists Plan Massive Day of Action
By Sarah Jaffe
AlterNet November 16, 2011
New York's 99 percent aren't letting a massive middle-
of-the-night police raid get them down.
November 17, the two-month anniversary of the Liberty
Plaza occupation in Manhattan's financial district, has
been the center of plans for massive actions for weeks
now, and the crackdown by billionaire mayor Michael
Bloomberg's forces early Tuesday morning has only given
new determination to the organizers and activists.
"Everyone as of last night was totally exhausted and
drained," Olivia Leirer of New York Communities for
Change told me, "But ready to put their energy into the
17th and to make sure the energy on the 17th is not
about the police crackdown, but about the message of
That message will be heard across New York's five
boroughs, from morning til evening, on Thursday.
"Storytelling and getting people's voices heard is the
major theme that's running throughout everything that's
happening tomorrow. There will be plenty of
opportunities from sunup to sundown for people to come
and tell their stories," Leirer said.
According to the OccupyWallSt.org website (which is not
run by the Liberty Plaza occupiers but an affinity
group), starting at 7:00 AM, protesters will gather in
Liberty Plaza and gather to "exchange stories rather
than stocks." Details are few, but rumors are flying
that some dramatic unauthorized street theater is
Students from universities across the city plan to walk
out of class on Thursday as well. All week, students
have held events as part of a coordinated Week of
Action, including a lecture by acclaimed author and
activist Arundhati Roy in Washington Square Park, a
rally at Columbia Law School in support of locked-out
Sotheby's art handlers, teach-ins, and much more.
"The real threat to health, safety, and democracy in
our communities dwells in the boardrooms of Wall Street
firms and universities that are destroying our economy,
dismantling our education, and corrupting our political
system - not among non-violent demonstrators spending
cold nights in tents in Liberty Square," said Aaron
Winslow, a student at Columbia University, in a
The student strike, like all of the November 17
actions, was planned ahead of time in solidarity with
the activists in Liberty Plaza, but will no doubt now
have new meaning for those involved. Walkouts will be
occurring all day on different campuses, but, according
to organizer ZoltA¡n GlA¼ck, will converge on Union
Square at 3 PM and then will march down to Foley Square
to meet the rest of the protesters.
"The novelty of this," GlA¼ck told me, "is the new level
of coordination and collective action and solidarity
between all the schools. There's always been organizing
on different campuses, but now they're working
together. Occupy Wall Street has provided the form and
the forum for a dialogue to be opened up. This is
building, and at this moment when it feels like we've
lost a lot of territory."
Around the city, meanwhile, subway stops will see
action as well, as 16 central subway hubs will see
activists telling their stories, handing out flyers,
and bringing the message of the Occupy Wall Street
movement to the outer boroughs, to people who don't
normally come across the protest in Liberty Plaza.
According to the OccupyWallSt.org site, these actions
will begin at 3 PM.
The centerpiece of the day will be a massive, permitted
rally at Foley Square, the site of October 5th's big
union solidarity march and of a temporary meeting
ground early Tuesday morning as protesters thrown out
of Liberty Plaza searched for someplace to regroup.
"It's not going to be a traditional rally or march at
all, it's going to be creative and exciting, we're
really thrilled about the energy that's been put into
it," Leirer told me.
She said that rather than a rally where speakers
address a crowd of listeners, instead there will be
soapboxes set up throughout the space, for everyone in
the 99% to come and speak their piece, tell their story
to the crowd. "It's the physical embodiment of the 'We
are the 99%' concept," she said.
Finally, at the end of the day, the website declares
that there will be a march to the bridges. Though it
doesn't specify which bridge, the site does say:
"Let's make it as musical a march as possible -
bring your songs, your voice, your spirit! Our
"Musical" on the bridge will culminate in a
festival of light as we mark the two-month
anniversary of the #occupy movement, and our
commitment to shining light into our broken
economic and political system."
Leirer pointed out that the day was planned well in
advance of Bloomberg's raid on the park, and that
hopefully the day will remind everyone what the real
message of the movement is. She doesn't think the
crackdown will stop the movement-just the opposite.
"I think that the Occupy movement is so much bigger
than the park, and what's happened across the country
and the solidarity that we've seen from groups like
ours, labor unions, we've seen this new invigoration to
the work that we've been doing forever."
Sarah Jaffe is an associate editor at AlterNet, a
rabblerouser and frequent Twitterer. You can follow her
c 2011 Independent Media Institute. All rights
SHUT DOWN WALL ST
Thursday, November 17 . 7:00am - 10:00am
Created By Occupy Wall St.
DOWN WITH THE WALL! UP WITH THE STREET!
This is the kick off event of the Resist, Reclaim,
Recreate N17 day of action.
For too long, Wall Street has crushed our
communities in its blind pursuit of profit. But
our numbers and our relationships are more
powerful than their money. Join Occupy Wall
Street and 99%ers from across the country as we
shut down the stock market by throwing ...a block
party the 1% will never forget.
On the morning of November 17, we will shut down
Wall Street. We will ring the People's Bell, and
initiate a street carnival in which we rebuild
and celebrate the neighborhoods that the Wall
Street economy has destroyed.
Wall Street has destroyed our neighborhoods.
Let's rebuild them on top of Wall Street.
WHAT: Rebuild the Block Party on Wall Street
WHEN: 7:00 am, Nov. 17, 2011
WHERE: Zuccotti Park, Liberty St. at Broadway
MASS TRANSIT: A/C [to Broadway-Nassau] 4/5, 2/3,
J/Z to Fulton, R to Rector [or E to WTC: No M or
N svc. to Financial District; no #1 to Fulton]
If you are coming from out of town, we will be
holding NVDA trainings all week and an action
Spokes Council the night before.
There is lots happening later in the day
3:00 pm: OCCUPY THE SUBWAYS RECLAIM our democracy!
Throughout the boroughs, we will gather at 7
central subway hubs, to listen to a singular
story from one of our hardest-hit and most
Bronx: Fordham Rd, and 3rd Ave/138th
Brooklyn: Broadway Junction, and Borough Hall
Queens: Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave, and
Jamaica Center Parsons Archer
Manhattan: 125th st, and Union Square
Staten Island: St George/Staten Island Ferry
Then we will take our own stories to the trains,
using the "People's Mic". We will rise up from
the underground to join thousands of others
gathered in the light of day, at Foley Square.
STUDENT STRIKE: Gather at Union Square
Take the Square 5pm. RECREATE
Community members, community groups and labor are
taking their fight for jobs and economic justice
out of the park, and into the streets, in this
first nationally coordinated day of action
between organized labor and Occupy Wall Street.
for more info and to RSVP:
Across the country, our infrastructure is falling
apart; our bridges, our roads, our public transit
systems are in a state of disrepair. Enough! It's
time to revitalize our economy with the creation
of local jobs which serve our country as a whole!
At 5:00 pm, we celebrate with tens of thousands
of people as we gather at Foley square, march to
our bridges and demand that we get back to work!
The celebration will culminate in a festival of
light as we mark the two-month anniversary of the
Details and RSVP here:
Take a sick day, come out from the darkness
surrounding Wall Street and into the light!
Resist austerity. Rebuild the economy.
Reclaim our democracy.
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